I can’t take any credit for this recipe. All of it goes to Veena.

marinated salad top view

This is one of those dishes that acquires a following, the kind that makes people come back for seconds and beg a recipe card, the kind they start making themselves and hooking others onto. Like those charts they showed us in high school about how quickly & widely an STD can spread, only far less terrifying.

There’s nothing unlikeable about this dish (I know, Emma, I can hear you protesting—go ahead and leave out the capers, okay?)

a) You can make it ahead of time, in fact, in tastes much, much better that way.

b) It lasts an incredibly long time in the fridge.

c) Works equally well in all seasons.

d) Is dirt cheap.

e) OH YEAH, it’s also crazy-delicious & good for you.

I’ve served this alongside sandwiches and burgers, in the midst of a potluck spread, with pita & hummus, as an easy dinner-party vegetable. I bring it to work on a regular basis because it keeps so darn long and goes with almost anything else I decide on for lunch. This salad is also a great choice to make for a family who is grieving, just had a baby, or is in a similar state of overwhelm—you can provide a healthier counterpoint to the usually carb-and-cheese-laden dishes that tend to be delivered in such circumstances.

My mom’s been making this salad for as long as I can remember; the tradition in our family evolved such that we always had it on New Year’s Day, along with the equally famous shrimp creole (that’s coming this winter, ya’ll, don’t worry) & wild rice. Marinated salad works wonderfully alongside this main course, but also serves another purpose; allowing everyone to fulfill their black-eyed pea quotient in a tasty way.

If you are not familiar with the food commandments down here below the Mason-Dixon line, one very strong and non-negotiable one is that you must eat black eyed peas on the first day of the new year, or face twelve months of bad luck. For kids who were tortured by the taste, the compromise became one bean per month, but I’m pretty sure with this dish, you and/or your kids won’t have any trouble eating more than twelve peas.


This is dead easy to make, I promise you can’t mess it up. Feel free to substitute fresh herbs for the dried or dried beans for the canned. You can also used canned corn instead of fresh, but since corn on the cob is so plentiful, cheap, & delicious right now, I recommend you go that route.

Any combination of beans will work, so throw in what you have on hand (cannelini beans are nice, as are pintos). Make sure not to use any with added salt or flavor. If you normally object to red onion, I heartily encourage you to try it here—the vinegar will cut much of the bite, and it just looks so much prettier than white or yellow would.

ingredients: marinated salad

1 can each:

dark red kidney beans

garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chickpeas)

black eyed peas

green beans*

2 ears’ worth of fresh corn kernels corn

1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped

Drain the beans in a large colander & rinse. Transfer to a sizeable bowl, then add corn and artichoke hearts.  Heat the following in a small saucepan:

1 cup white vinegar

1 cup sugar

Once the sugar has fully dissolved and the mixture boils, remove from heat.

Stir in:

½ red onion, very thinly sliced

2 T capers

1 T dried parsley

1 T garlic powder (less if you aren’t a garlic fan)

1 tsp. chives, minced salt & pepper (be generous!)

Let the vinegar mixture sit for about 5 minutes, then pour over the vegetables. Mix thoroughly and then drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil. For the best taste, allow to sit on room temperature for 1 hour before serving or storing in the fridge for future use.

*If you want to use fresh green beans, you’ll need to blanch them first.


16 responses to “MARINATED SALAD

  1. This sounds terrific! I’m always looking for a new bean salad recipe. Can’t wait to give it a try (and looking forward to your shrimp creole recipe, that sounds awesome!)

  2. This sounds like a great option for me to take to the next pot-luck I attend! We have them monthly at church, and there is always a need for vegetarian or vegan options. This sounds like it would fit the bill!

  3. My church does a monthly pot luck after service, and this month’s theme is Mexican. Had no idea what I could bring, not being a big Mexican fan. This looks like it just might work!

    • Chrysti, this IS a great choice for a potluck! healthy for vegetarians/vegans, too, because the beans contain protein & fiber.

      Steve, if your potluck theme is Mexican, I’d also recommend this black bean salsa. Since we’re still getting great, fresh corn & tomatoes, it might be the perfect choice to fit in with the theme!

  4. Sounds good, do you have to cook the corn at all? Thanks, will make and report back.

  5. Yum! I love marinated bean salads. I think I ate them on the buffet at Shoney’s as a kid and was just…hooked.

    But in the last few years they’ve kind of disappeared. So thanks for the recipe – now I can satisfy myself (and other people!).

    • beth, with sweet fresh corn, I don’t pre-cook it at all–the hot vinegar mixture, since it’s so acidic, will “cook” everything just enough.

      Fiona, I think you’re right! these salads have sort-of gone out of fashion, but for no good reason that I see. it’s been a long time since I visited a Shoney’s buffet…

      thanks to both of you for visiting & taking the time to comment!

  6. haha potluck is the first thing i thought of as well – looks delish, great recipe!

  7. I absolutely love salads like this and i have never made one with black eyed peas yet. This sounds great and is a nice variety on your standard corn and bean salad. thanks! I also did not know that black eyed peas bring luck when eaten on the new year, i will have to start that tradition – it can’t hurt 🙂

  8. What a great recipe! Delish…without capers of course!!!

  9. Do you think that this is something that would can easily?

    • bluejeangourmet

      sara–I’d love to know that I’d passed on a good ole fashioned Southern tradition!

      Emma–hopefully this is something you could make in Moscow? all the ingredients would be a “go”?

      swandiver–great, great question. I’ve never tried, but I can’t see why not, especially if you hold off on drizzling in olive oil until you’ve opened the can and are ready to serve the salad. so, fill each sterilized jar with the “dry” bean mixture, then make sure your vinegar solution is nice and hot, pour some into each jar and then can. if you try it, please let me know how it turns out!

  10. hi, since a lot of the comments on this were from people that hadn’t made it I just wanted to give some feedback on the recipe since I did make it today. its VERY sweet, that’s kind of all I taste. I also had A LOT of leftover liquid even though i followed the recipe exactly.

    • hi Linda, thanks for offering feedback after trying the recipe. of course it’s a matter of personal taste, but if you found the vinegar mixture too sweet for you, you could easily cut back on the sugar should you decide to make it again.

  11. I made this today for the monthly potluck. As Linda said, it was very sweet, but I liked it that way. I also found there was a great deal of liquid left in the bowl. I imagine the beans, corn and onion all release extra liquid. I wonder if you could cut the vinegar AND the sugar in 1/2…

  12. Pingback: NICE TO SEE YOU, 2010 « Blue Jean Gourmet

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